MARTIN'S MILL -- Playing for the Martin's Mill girls basketball team is about the same as going to the state tournament -- a rite of passage. It's what you do out here in this little unincorporated community just outside Ben Wheeler.

And for Cheyenne Brown, it's more than a rite of passage. It's about putting her name next to some memorable ones in Martin's Mill lore, names such as Jordan Barncastle, Haily Jenkins.

Barncastle and Jenkins were the leaders, the faces of Martin's Mill teams that brought home the gold.

(Christopher Vinn,

Now, it's Brown's turn.

"It has some pressure but I'm ready for it," Brown said. "I'm ready to take my spot and do what I need to do to get to where I need to be."

Only a junior, Brown already has left quite a mark on the Martin's Mill program. She averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds per game as a sophomore.

And she already knows what it's like to win the big game -- Brown scored 11 points and had eight rebounds in Martin's Mill's 49-46 come-from-behind win over Smyer in the Class A Division I state championship game on March 2. 

Brown said she's not stopping until she gets to experience that again, and this time she'll do it as the leader of the team.

"It's amazing to be a part of it. Everyone works their butt off to get to where we've been, and we're going to continue to do that," Brown said. "Our community counts on us and our school counts on us, and we don't want to let them down. And we don't want to let ourselves down, because we want to go back to state."

Martin's Mill won championships in 2006, 2008 and 2013. Lady Mustangs coach Doug Barncastle saw his daughter, Jordan, on the 2006 and 2008 teams. Jordan Barncastle and Brown share many aspects of their game: both are tall, physical presences down low who often dominate their competition.

Brown said she stays in contact with Jordan Barncastle from time to time, and she enjoys not only having someone to talk to, but also model her game after.

"She was my role model, and still is my role model," Brown said. "I took a lot of what she did to heart and wanted to use it in my game. She told me to be the person and the player she knows I can be."

Brown is also quick to share the same feelings when she talks about playing for Doug Barncastle, who now has three state titles with Martin's Mill.

"It's an amazing to have him fully believe in you and that you can lead your team to something great," Brown said. "He expects you to lead your team and get you where they need to be and never quit. And anyone who has played for him knows that feeling. I just have to lead my team, be an example for them and help us get to where we need to be."

Cheyenne Brown: Martin's Mill Junior Post

Martin's Mill junior Cheyenne Brown averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds per game as a sophomore. (Christopher Vinn,